Maasrot, Chapter Five, Mishnah One


Mishnah One

1)      One who uproots saplings from of his own [property] and plants them [elsewhere] within his own [property] is exempt [from tithes]. 

2)      If he bought [saplings] attached to the ground, he is exempt.

3)      If he gathered them in order to send them to his fellow, he is exempt. 

4)      Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah said: if similar ones were being sold in the market, behold they are liable [for tithes].



Section one: The person in our section is uprooting saplings in order to plant them in another place on his own property. The mishnah teaches that even if there are fruits on these plants and even if he gathers the plants temporarily in to his courtyard [the place where produce generally becomes liable for tithes], they are still exempt from tithes because his intent was not to harvest the fruit but rather to replant the saplings.

Section two: We have previously learned that when one buys produce, one cannot eat it until it is tithed. Being involved in a financial transaction causes produce to become liable for tithes. However, this is only true when produce is bought. If saplings are bought when they are still attached to the ground, their produce is not liable for tithes. If they had been bought detached from the ground, then one can not eat the produce until it is tithed.

Section three: In mishnah 4:2 Rabbi Judah held that if one gathers fruit to send to his friend, the fruit must be tithed before it can be eaten. In our mishnah, we learn that this is only when he gathered produce to send to his friend. When he gathers the saplings and sends them to his friend he is still exempt.

Section four: Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah says that if the fruit that is hanging on these saplings is similar to fruit being sold in the market, meaning this fruit has ripened enough so that it could be sold in the market, then one cannot eat from it until it has been tithed.